Burke's Blog


Teamwork: There is no “I” in “Job Search”

Posted: Apr 02, 2013

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Searching for a job is probably not at the top of one’s list of enjoyable things to do; in fact, to most, it can be downright dreadful. Why? The process is almost always performed independently. Job seekers prepare their marketing tools independently, look at newspaper ads independently, make calls to companies independently, get turned down independently, wonder if they are ever going to find a job…independently. It seems there is a rallying cry of teamwork, teamwork, teamwork when doing a job, yet this goes unheard or unpracticed when searching for the job. So why not use teamwork when job searching?

Let’s face it – for most people, looking for a job can be uncomfortable, de-esteeming discouraging. It can be so easy to become discouraged when you are not getting offers. With rejections, or simply receiving no word about your applications or progress, one starts a downward spiral of emotions and self-esteem when facing the job search alone. For others, when they are successful at finding employment, they find themselves settling for a job they really aren’t happy with because they believe that there are no alternatives out there. There are jobs out there!! You just have to find them. It becomes very easy to feel that you are all alone and that this is not happening to anyone else. So, it either becomes a problem with your methods of job search or a problem with the job market. You can’t control the job market very easily, but you can control your job search methods.

Why do we make the job search such a lonely practice? Not everyone is lucky enough to have individual career transition and job searching consultation services, and so, many must go it alone – or so they think. We simply have to look at the latest research to realize that in most cases, teams outperform and “out-achieve” individuals. So why not have teammates or partners when job searching? Someone who is thinking and feeling and experiencing the same things that you are, and who can provide encouragement, support, and even resources and information to you as you are conducting your search.

Going it alone can be a real problem. How can you possibly stay motivated when you don’t receive feedback about your search? Who will tell you that you will get that job if you persist in the hunt? Rejection can be devastating to anyone’s esteem, but especially to a job seeker who may be worried about making the next mortgage payment. So how can you avoid this isolation and the negativity that can build up around an independent job search? Find a team, form a team, or hire a job coach.

With a team, you have support. With a team you receive praise and motivating influences. With a team, you can keep going. You don’t have to know these people well. It is the shared experiences that will bond you. It will make a significant and positive difference when job searching with the support of people who share common experiences, who will not pre-judge, who know and share the do’s and don’ts of job search from experience, and who do not know your shortcomings or fears or lack of certain skills. Your teammates can provide you with the strength and motivation to make that next cold call, to reconnect with past applications, to go into the interview with a positive attitude rather than with fear and discomfort.

Structured job clubs or search teams through professional resume services, career and success coaches, employment agencies, some college employment services, even churches, and professional organizations can all provide support to those conducting a job search. However, you can also form your own group if you know of other job seekers or work with a career coach to match you with team members. You can be in control of your own destiny, but you do not have to do it alone. Remember – there is no “I” in team, nor is there one in “job search”. The team concept works and will not only keep you motivated but will help you network for job leads, expand your contact list, and uncover many new possibilities that you might not have yet considered in conducting a successful job search.


LinkedIn – How your search just got smarter!

Posted: Mar 26, 2013

LinkedIn_logo_1[1]We have shared information that we have found before on the latest and greatest piece of technology in your job search and personal social media platform.   In the interest of staying up to date and informed we have found the following article and wanted to share.   Click here for more details.


Why Outstanding Internal Customer Service is Simply Good Business!

Posted: Mar 19, 2013

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How do I create an exceptional customer service culture within my organization?

Customer service is the foundation on which businesses are created.  It is a well-known fact that you must understand your customers and treat them with respect or you will no longer be in business.  However, oftentimes leaders neglect to recognize that creating quality products or delivering excellent services is dependant upon people, not corporations.  Leaders need to treat their employees well and instill a caring attitude in their managers and supervisors in order to be effective.  While companies tend to focus their attention and resources on external customer service, too often little attention is paid to the effect that poor internal customer service has on overall customer satisfaction and retention.

Outstanding internal customer service extends to all aspects of the organization, but it begins with you.  The old adage, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” still serves businesses well.  Sooner or later the ripple effect of your internal customer services will reach your customers.  Make sure your commitment to internal customer service matches your company’s external focus on customer care.

When we refer to customer services, we automatically think of serving our external customers’ needs.  But customer service occurs within the organization as well.  Internal customers are anyone working within or with the organization – management, other departments, consultants and vendors.  Internal customer service relates to how well your staff is serving its internal customers – how effectively are they communicating and interacting with one another?  It refers to the level of responsiveness, communication, quality, teamwork and morale experienced within the organization.  Within a cooperative, collaborative environment, employees flourish, exhibit pride, and voluntarily demonstrate higher levels of service and support.

Developing effective internal customer service contributes to reduced costs, increased productivity, and improved communication and cooperation.  Employees experience improved morale, harmonious process and practices, reduced interdepartmental competition, and better aligned goals.  As a result, the organization can deliver better service to the external customer – having healthy internal customer service practices will result in delivery of excellent external customer service.

So, how do you as a progressive leader foster a superior customer service culture for your employees?

  1.  Consider all employees of the organization as customers.  Your employees are what will make you succeed with your customers, so treating them well will serve you and your customers well.
  2. Communicate.  Let them  know the company’s goals and direction – keep them aware of what the business future holds in store.   They will then be better able to align their individual goals with  those of the organization.
  3. Exceed their expectations.  Do more for them than  expected.  Provide employees with those little extras whenever you can -  anything from an unexpected lunch to tickets to their favourite event.
  4. Be there for them.  Make yourself available and present for your employees the same way you would make yourself available for your clients.
  5. Follow up.  Ask them for their opinions and feedback.  By involving them in this way, they will be more comfortable volunteering, participating and taking ownership.
  6. Provide them with corporate give-aways.  If your company purchases client  gifts, purchase a few extra for your staff.  If  you receive gifts from your vendors, share them with your staff – it’s not the size of the gift, it’s the thought that counts.
  7. Say Thank You!  Provide your employees with the same courtesies you would your customers.  Everyone wants to be appreciated for the work they’ve done.  Take every opportunity to say thank you.

Managing Employee Performance : Always a Hot Topic

Posted: Mar 08, 2013

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Are you effectively managing your employee’s performance?  This is always a hot topic and for many business owners and managers, the answer is a resounding, often frustrated ‘no’.

Studies have shown that organizations with effective performance management processes in place consistently outperform those without such systems.   Without clear vision and specific goals, employees are left feeling unmotivated and complacent.

Yet, do you ever wonder whether the traditional process or ‘report-card’ style of performance management is actually working, or is it marred by forced rankings, severe time investment and low impact on overall performance?

At The Burke Group, we believe in linking performance planning with annual corporate business planning.  By establishing targets for improvement and focusing on creating and reviewing methods to achieve goals, this model ensures that all employees are sharing the vision and working toward the achievement of an established set of goals.

If your organization’s performance management model needs a tune-up for spring, give us a call here at The Burke Group.  Through our HR outsourcing services, you can access the expertise of an HR professional who will work with you on a project basis to establish an effective performance management process that suits your organization’s culture, budget and needs.

We guarantee a model that will foster trust between employees and management and address how team members can enhance their own performance and play to their strengths.


Linked In Do’s and Dont’s

Posted: Feb 19, 2013

LinkedIn_logo_1[1]It’s the latest and greatest piece of social media that is taking the world by storm.   This biggest difference is that this platform is professionally based and has lots of great uses.     All of that being said, because it’s the newest ‘game’ in town it’s hard to figure out what’s right/wrong and what works.  We have come across this article and thought in the shortest way possible, it helps answer those questions.     Click here for more details.